A month before the 2015 Guildford Heritage Festival I decided I should go in costume and synchronise the costume making with a historical costume challenge that is held every year. Each month of the challenge has a theme. For March 2015 the challenge theme was 'Stash Busting'.
These two events combined resulted in a fun frothy-costumey 1870's Victorian gown that I like to call My Big Froufy Costumey Costume.
Although one month isn't much time for making a Victorian gown I wore the gown to the festival using few, okay, a lot of pins to hold it together.
The 2016 Fair is only 2 months away and it is likely I will end up wearing the same gown, however it is my hope that this year the gown will be properly fitted and finished with more suitable underpinnings and accessories.
My Big Froufy GownThis gown style would have been worn by upper-middle class ladies of the early bustle era 1865-1879.
This particular gown is based off the 1871-73 gown featured on page 28 of Patterns of Fashion: English Women's Dresses and their contsrtuction c1860 - 1940 by Janet Arnold.
The original gown at the time of publication was housed at the Gallery of English Costume, and is currently housed at Manchester Galleries.
Some of the skirt trims are inspired by other extant gowns from the early bustle era
2 March 2015 - Planning stage
I ponder my options and ideas.
9 March 2015 - Selecting the pattern and fabricsEvery plan changes once the limitations are assessed, a completely new plan evolves.
7 March 2015 - I was lost in making a corset to be worn under it.While I'm all for making do when time is short a girl just can't go without her underpinnings!
12 March 2015 Ruffles, ruffles and more rufflesDecorating the skirt got underway.
The fun part of every historical garment is the trimmings.
26 March 2015 Lacking A Bodice PatternEvery costumer doubts their work at the last minute. But when there's only 2 days left and you don't even have a bodice pattern draughted yet panic starts to set it.
tampico style bustle to finish the neckline and cuffs and it also provided the hat.
29th March 2015 The Guildford Heritage Fesitval
The bustle was made the month before as part the blue challenge.